Is Ryan Bingham Being Cheated By The Oscars?

Our Country

A big portion of the buzz surrounding last year's film Crazy Heart consisted not only of the vivid performances from actors Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal (both nominated for Oscars at this Sunday's Academy Awards)--but also the movie's score. In particular, the movie's theme, "The Weary Kind," performed by alt-country rising sensation Ryan Bingham, who co-wrote the tune with the legendary T Bone Burnett.

Regular old fans of the film weren't the only ones taking notice of Bingham's composition. The yearning, loping tune has already won a Golden Globe, and is currently up for an Oscar (for Best Original Song) this weekend.

Unfortunately, Ryan's being cheated out of a huge part of what should be one of the biggest nights of his career to date. In a surprising decision made last month, the executive producers of the Awards show announced that they were doing away with the longstanding tradition of having Best Original Song nominees perform live on the telecast (instead, the nominated songs will be played over footage of their respective films).

So, Ryan will not be getting up on stage to perform "The Weary Kind." I'm sure you'll see him at the show--no doubt about it if he wins the Oscar. And I'm certain this decision isn't making fellow nominee Randy Newman--who's already won a billion or so awards--lose any sleep. But this really seems like a lousy break for a talented artist who is currently in the process of gaining career momentum. 

If anyone has any doubts about Ryan being ripped off--I mean, this is the Oscars, not the Grammys, after all--may I remind any of you, who can remember, the 1998 Oscar performance of "Miss Misery," by Elliott Smith? Who is now dead--and how many people less would have known his affecting songwriting, if not for this bit of public prominence commemorating his role in shaping the mood of Good Will Hunting?

Ryan Bingham, I certainly hope, has a longer future ahead of him than Elliott Smith did in 1998. And, I am not concerned that this particular lame stroke of luck is going to make or break his career. Just being nominated for his song is a tremendous accolade and feather in his cap. I'm actually quite tickled pink he's up for an Academy Award--yet another massive stride for country music domination this year!

But, because I do feel this was bad timing for him, I wanted to make sure you all got a look at him performing--if not at the Oscars, here at Yahoo! Music. Please check out this live footage and interview from our studios in 2008. Cross your fingers for Ryan this Sunday!

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